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Protecting Your Home During a Drought

by Mario Gomez

Posted on February 2, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 27 at 11:12 AM

The High Fire Danger caused by the drought of the last few months is leading us to come up with a few tips just in case you find yourself near a fast-spreading grass or forest fire near your home.

Forrest Fire.jpg

Houston-Galveston area is starting the year about as dry as 2008 ended. Houston recorded only .49" of rain for January, making it the 6th driest on record for January. Galveston saw its 3rd driest January with only .34" of rain. After several freezes and lots of downed timber from Hurricanes Rita and Ike sitting around the area you have plenty of fuel for a large fire.

As Houston grows and more people move out into the country,
you may find yourself having to defend your home from one of the many fires that have sprung up in the last few weeks. Here are some tips to get you started:

- Clear dead wood and flammable vegetation from your homes surroundings.

- Trim tree branches away from the overhang of your home.

- Clean your roof and gutters of all dead leaves and pine needles.

- Move any firewood to a safe distance away from your home.

- Keep a water hose and reel hooked up and ready for use if a fire spreads.

- Compost your leaves and tree branches rather than burning them.

- If possible keep a green lawn within 30 feet of your home.

- Relocate propane tanks at least 10 feet away from your home.

- Use nonflammable mulches like rock near your home rather than pine needles and dry wood mulch

- Stay tuned to Channel 11 and Keep alert to weather changes that prompt
Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches. These are conditions that enhance the
potential for fires caused by high winds and low humidity.